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Saving the Sun: Japan's Financial Crisis and a Wall Stre
     

Saving the Sun: Japan's Financial Crisis and a Wall Stre

by Gillian Tett
 

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Saving the Sun tells the story of the world's largest private equity deal where American investors made billions of dollars rehabilitating Shinsei, a failed Japanese bank. Within that business saga is the dramatic tale of Japan's brightest financial minds, the men who made the Japanese economic miracle come to life, and their struggle against the economic

Overview

Saving the Sun tells the story of the world's largest private equity deal where American investors made billions of dollars rehabilitating Shinsei, a failed Japanese bank. Within that business saga is the dramatic tale of Japan's brightest financial minds, the men who made the Japanese economic miracle come to life, and their struggle against the economic failure in the 1990s. Into this climate of despair, where Japan seemed incapable of reviving prosperity, came a group of wily and determined Americans who would discover just how different the Japanese really are.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Financial journalist Tett asks why the economic engine that achieved phenomenal growth for Japan between 1953 and 1970 has been stalled since 1990, with 2003 marking the fifth consecutive year of deflation. Puzzled by the persistent stagnation and dissatisfied with prevailing macroeconomic explanations, Tett has taken an intriguing alternate route to investigate what has gone wrong: she focuses on the history of the Long Term Credit Bank (LTCB) as it evolved from financing industrial customers during the boom years to expanding its portfolio with real estate loans in the 1980s and recent attempts to reinvent itself as Shinsei Bank after being purchased by a U.S. consortium in 2000. The twists and turns of the fascinating LTCB saga are cultural and political eye-openers, but Tett also thinks that the problems she found in the bank are symptomatic of Japan's economy as a whole. She argues that one consequence of Japan's reliance on old ways of doing business was the proliferation of nonperforming loans, burdening the banking system to the tune of more than a trillion dollars in the 1990s; she sees the meltdown of the LTCB and the need to put it up for sale as an inevitable result of failure to get tough with rafts of deadbeat borrowers. When the determinedly entrepreneurial U.S. consortium took over the LTCB with a vision of transforming it into a viable commercial bank, it soon discovered a vast number of hidden bad loans along with unexpected resistance to the consortium's new business strategies. Her candid assessment in this lively volume is certain to stir debate since she points an accusatory finger at what she characterizes as paralyzing traditions of consensus thinking, harmony, hierarchy, insularity and resistance to change, especially if the proposed changes originate with non-Japanese. Illus. not seen by PW. Agent, Amanda Urban. (Sept.) Forecast: A national broadcast and print media campaign that includes first serial rights to the Financial Times should attract the attention of business readers, especially those disposed to see the LTCB/Shinsei story as emblematic of challenges Japan's economy faces today. Tett's sense that hallowed Japanese institutions and traditions are to blame for the country's lackluster economic performance should heat up the discussion as well. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Tett, former Tokyo bureau chief of the Financial Times, has written a forward-looking book about the Japanese banking system-and the prognosis is not good. According to the author, without serious structural reforms, Japanese banks will implode, triggering catastrophic economic events worldwide. Sadly, the Japanese have been aware of the problem for years but have largely ignored it. Although covering something of this magnitude could be difficult, the author wisely focuses on the Long Term Credit Bank (LTCB), one of the more egregious examples, to tell her story. LTCB, which came perilously close to defaulting in 1999, was nationalized by the Japanese government and sold to a Wall Street investment group. Painful staff reductions, budget cutbacks, and major loan reductions combined to produce a new entity called the Shinsei Bank that has been largely profitable. How did financial disaster come to the LTCB? Nonperforming loans were the main culprit, stemming from excessive real estate lending with little or no credit analysis oversight and compounded by an opaque regulatory system, a problem confronted by countless other Japanese banks. This exemplary chronicle is recommended for larger public libraries and all international business collections.-Richard Drezen, Washington Post/New York City Bureau Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061877636
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/13/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
1,080,342
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Gillian Tett was trained as a social anthropologist but became a journalist while doing fieldwork in Soviet Central Asia during the of communism in Russia. Since that time she has risen through the ranks of the Financial Times, holding positions on its economics desk before becoming the bureau chief in Japan. She now lives in London.

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